The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross
When I read Ross’ quote I could not help but remember the many people I know who have overcome adversity. In some cases these good people have demonstrated a degree of courage and resiliency that I found to be awesome. Rather than letting their problems take them down they actually developed a strength of character and objectivity that added more meaning to their lives than they experienced in the past.
These individuals have developed a life perspective that allows them to value what really is important and waste as little time as possible on what isn’t important. A doctor friend of mine does so by the extraordinary lengths she goes to nurture her patients. Another friend who had a number of past business and career successes in his life suffered a number of debilitating illness he does not work any longer but he now spends his time doing as much as he can for others.
I think what makes these people so special and so optimistic is that they now place the highest value on things that too many of us take for granted. They know every breath is precious, they know that the time to show love to those we care about is now and not someday, and they know the value of kindness.
The good news is that you and I don’t have to have a near death experience, suffer great pain or overcome a huge personal loss to find what these fine folks have discovered. All we have to do is decide we don’t want to risk waiting until it is too late to change how we live realizing that days quickly turn into months, years and finally eternity. We can reap the rewards that come to those who live life as it can be lived if we decide we don’t want to coast through our lives missing the best the world has to offer.
In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.
Sadie bumps into her friend Rachel at the mall.
"You’re looking very tired today, Rachel. Did you have a late night?"
"Yes," replies Rachel, "but it was all very strange. While doing some gardening yesterday, I found a lamp, so I rubbed it and out popped a genie. He gave me a choice of two wishes."
"Wow, fantastic," says Sadie, "so what were the choices he gave you, Rachel?"
"He said he could either give me an excellent, sharp, 100% memory or else he could make my Harry the best lover in the world."
"So tell me already, Rachel, what did you choose?"
"I can’t remember," replies Rachel.
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.
To Whom it May Concern:
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them. I want to play dodgeball at recess and paint with watercolors in art. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.
I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible. Somewhere in our youth, we matured and learned too much. There are nuclear weapons, war, prejudice, and abused children. Lies, unhappy marriages, illness, pain, and death. A world where companies poison our water and our soil, and children kill.
What happened to the time when we thought that everyone would live forever, because we didn’t grasp the concept of death? When the worst thing in the world was if someone took the jump rope from you or picked you last for kickball. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to return to the days when children played hide-n-seek outside instead of being glued to a television, when video games were as harmless as Pac-Man…instead of spine-ripping, blood-splattering mind numbers like Mortal Combat, and TV still had some shows on that weren’t about sex, killing, and lies.
I remember being naive and thinking everyone was happy because I was. Afternoons were spent climbing trees and fences and riding my bike. I never worried about time, bills, or where I was going to find the money to fix my car. I used to wonder what I was going to do or be when I grew up, not worry about what I’ll do if this doesn’t work out. I want to live simple again.
I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones. I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.
So…. here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, ’cause. . . "Tag! You’re it."
Every man has three characters: that which he shows, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
While cruising at 40,000 feet, the airplane shuddered and a white-knuckled passenger looked out the window. "Good lord!" he screamed, "one of the engines just blew up!"
Other passengers left their seats and came running over; Suddenly the aircraft was rocked by a second blast as yet another engine exploded on the other side. The passengers were in a panic now, and even the stewardesses couldn’t maintain order. Just then, standing tall and smiling confidently, the pilot strode from the cockpit and assured everyone that there was nothing to worry about.His words and his demeanor seemed made most of the passengers feel better, and they sat down as the pilot calmly walked to the door of the aircraft.
There, he grabbed several packages from under the seats and began handing them to the flight attendants. Each crew member attached the package to their backs.
"Say," screamed a terrified passenger, "aren’t those parachutes?"
The pilot said they were.
The passenger went on, "But I thought you said there was nothing to worry about?"
"There isn’t," replied the pilot as a third engine exploded. "We’re going to get help."
People are more violently opposed to fur than to leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.
An elderly lady was stopped to pull into a parking space when young man in his new red Mercedes went around her and parked in the space she was waiting for. The little old lady was so upset that she went up to the man and said, "I was going to park there!"
The man was a real smart aleck and he said, "That’s what you can do when you’re young and bright."
Well, this really upset the lady even more, so she got in her car and backed it up and then she stomped on the gas and plowed right into his Mercedes.
The young man ran back to his car and screamed, "What did you do that for?"
She smiled and told him, "That’s what you can do when you’re old and rich!"
The marvellous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.